tv Headline News RT February 7, 2013 5:00pm-5:30pm EST
another day another drone base turns out the u.s. is hiding one in saudi arabia and news outlets have been keeping the military secret for over a year so when do military missions overrule the public's right to know will question more. under fire president obama's pick for cia director is on the hill today answering tough questions on everything from a kill list to drone strikes coming up a critical look at yon brennan's record. setting south of the border the u.s. is spending tens of billions of dollars on the war on drugs and that battle is now being fought all over latin america will break down the cost of these missions and ask if they are really accomplishing anything.
it's thursday february seventh five pm here in washington d.c. i'm liz wall and you're watching r t. we begin today taking a look at drones and the role they play in achieving u.s. foreign policy goals it's an issue with covered extensively here at r.s.c. and finally making its way into the mainstream conversation on order to operate these unmanned aircraft the u.s. needs military bases relatively close to the planned targets and it turns out the u.s. has had one in saudi arabia for about two years or where in saudi arabia that's still a mystery but chances are you had no idea it existed and that's because it's been somewhat of a secret apparently many media outlets knew all about the base but didn't report it it's now coming to light that american media did not report on it because of an agreement with the obama administration this according to the washington post and the new york times who are now coming forward with what they've known all this time for more i was joined by russ baker editor in chief of who what why dot com and i
first asked him if this broken secret comes as a surprise. not really it's very common practice among american mainstream news organizations to receive requests from the u.s. government to withhold information and they seem to make decisions on a case by case basis what's very disturbing about this is that you see these deals being cut basically between a few of these organizations typically the washington post the new york times perhaps the associated press and not the rest of the media we don't really know on what basis do you decide that the american people should not be provided information it gets into all whole raft of different issues ethics issues journalism issues that i find perplexing and very very important now want to go into the justification that they're providing their reasoning behind this the
washington post decided to break the silence when it found out the new york times was about to do the same here is what the washington post said the washington post has or frayne from disclosing the location at the request of the administration which cited concern that exposing the facility would undermine operations against an al qaeda affiliate regarded as the network's most potent threat to the united states as well as a potentially as well as potentially damage counterterrorism collaboration with saudi arabia so what do you think about this reasoning is the secrecy justified well let's go back first of all and look at the original phrasing when the new york times originally wrote about the drone program back in two thousand and eleven they actually said that the drones had been operating from an unnamed state now that's a very sneaky thing because when you think about state you think about
a state as in it's one of the fifty states in the united states rather than state meaning a foreign country so that was the. key to begin with they don't acknowledge that they were that sticky but that's what they were but another issue would be this they say that they withheld the information because of al qaeda and because of a threat to american security but in fact there has not been substantial evidence in an awfully long time of al qaeda presenting any kind of an imminent danger to the united states itself and you need to look at the second half of the statement that relates to saudi arabia and i believe that it is actually having much more to do with propping up the royal family regime in saudi arabia than it does actually protecting the united states itself. with the proliferation of her own do you think that we can expect to see similar kinds of bases we know that there's plans in the works to build a base and they share there's already one in jim booty do you expect more more me
as. well this is an unseen battle that's raging behind the scenes at our web site who like we've just begun digging into it and will be doing quite a few more stories and happy to come on to r.t. and talk about it one of the things we're seeing is a new memos we've released wiki leaks in cooperation with wiki leaks regarding conversations that general petraeus was having with yemen back several years ago before he was cia director about a turf battle between the cia and the joint special operations command of the pentagon over whether or not drone policy in yemen was even a good idea and whether they were not in fact creating more militants than doing anything else the the cia's drone program came out of nowhere and post nine eleven has grown and grown and grown there are more than two thousand people work in its counterterrorism operations it's become a vast vast new part and justification of the actually reason for the cia even to
exist and as the new york times pointed out i believe it was yesterday they went in with that drone strike trying to get. people in yemen and they ended up actually killing a. rather cleric who was actually giving speeches against al qaeda so it's a very very dangerous a very risky thing we don't know nearly enough about it we need to know much much more not less as you said that we see that the drone campaign is playing a bigger and increasingly larger role in achieving u.s. foreign policy goals but at the same time it's a very secretive program and that is expected to be discussed and john brennan hearing for the director that is going on right now is one of bringing this another interesting development when it comes to grow in the iranian state media last night showed alleged footage of a u.s. drone in the hands of iran the u.s.
claims that the drone. disappeared over afghanistan before they say that the drone that the drone wasn't missing if this footage which the authenticity of it has not been verified but if it is indeed a u.s. drone does this cast a special in on what the pentagon has been saying it certainly does and i think that was damage control it's very embarrassing for them to admit that a country that's supposedly so primitive in many respects iran was capable of basically hijacking that drone and then as it seems to be the case what iran has claimed that they reverse engineered it they now are claiming that they have built their own line of drones that they're assembling them and i think that makes the whole sort of power equation quite a bit more complicated very very interesting obviously is a subject of great alarm in washington yeah i mean it seems like there is more
quiet things like when it comes to drones there's always more questions than answers of course with this new development iran and iran. iran saying one thing the u.s. is saying another a whole lot of questions of course the issue of drones is finally in the spotlight now it's supposed to be a focal point of john brennan's confirmation hearing to be the head of the cia do you expect that there will be more transparency on the drone campaign especially now that at least we're seeing some more dialogue it's possible we saw the leak the recently of that justice department paper giving some hint about the internal justifications for targeting american citizens with drones as they did with anwar locky an american in yemen and so you know certainly there's a battle going on right now civil liberties groups are saying it's absolute imperative that we get more of a handle on it i think the larger picture is that we need to understand much more
about who drives policy in the u.s. government who's really in the driver's seat and what interests really are being served there are a lot of other factors in here there's a very profitable thing called the oil business very concerned about what's happening in yemen concerned about stability in saudi arabia iran is not just a so-called threat it is actually a power player in that region where there are shiite or sympathetic with iran living in many of those countries and so there's quite a bit more going on that we don't tend to hear about in the analyses that you. think thank you so much for weighing in that was russ baker editor in chief who what why dot com. well speaking of drones president obama's pick for head of the cia is being grilled on the issue as we speak a couple days ago a memo leaked detailing the legal justification for a targeted killing of americans abroad now
a group of senators wants the obama administration to make public a document called the white paper and this is the official legal opinion that details when the targeted killing of american citizens is allowed by law or brennan happens to be the architect of president obama's so-called kill list and the drone campaign earlier i spoke with artie's justin underhill live from the capitol where she brought us the latest from brennan's confirmation hearing oh between the hot air from some politicians on the hot tempers from some protesters things got quite lively during the hearing i actually asked her about five interruptions from protesters dianne feinstein who's the head of the committee and up kicking everybody out of the room so all the media and in the general public ended up having to leave the hearing and they resumed the hearing while the members of the media and the public were outside and we do have that clip and confusion going on during. all right that we do have that clip we just want to let's just play let's
got quite chaotic wanted to play this clip how we got off to a start. they apply my yes i. know her. writing her. was ok. how are. all right i think we're. obviously drones are very controversial a lot of heated opinions when it comes to the drone campaign just and i want to ask you john brennan he's described as being the architect of the drone campaign what is the extent of his involvement what is his record when it comes to drones. well his nomination today is quite controversial so it was four years ago that he was obama's first considered him for the cia but he withdrew his consideration
because of his association with the bush administration and and torture policies and now today he's been a close adviser to obama for the past four years who's counterterrorism adviser and with that he's been closely associated with the drone campaign that's happened over the past four years and as this debate goes on an interesting public poll just came out that i want to bring up when it comes to public opinion on drones it seems the majority of people in the united states support their use seventy five percent approve of military drone attacks on people and other targets deemed a threat to the u.s. only thirteen percent disapprove so just and i also want to point out the approval rating goes down when we're talking about american citizens of broad but drones seem to be one of the few issues that gets bipartisan support so with this in mind can we expect senators to ask brennan tough questions when it comes to the drone
campaign. all this is certainly been a bipartisan issue through the poll that you just mentioned you see time and time again when americans feel threatened or afraid they're willing to give up civil liberties and to me time again with t.s.a. and all sorts of other issues as for today you have sort of a mixed bag where senators democratic senators want to make sure that he was concerned. but they're also concerned about civil liberties and you see the republicans wanting to poke at the obama administration and lastly just you and we're seeing that he's being poked as you say is there a sense that brennan senate confirmation could be at risk or is this more of a show of concern and an opportunity to ask these questions. well this is certainly a time for senators to question the policies under obama's administration for the
war on terror but as we know the senate is controlled by by democrats so it would be quite shocking if he wasn't indeed confirmed right just saying thanks for keeping an eye on how that hearing important hearing is going over there on capitol hill that was our t. producer justin underhill well we don't know for winning the war on drugs but we do know it's expanding in latin america the u.s. military is kicking up combat and the most expensive initiative in the region since the cold war take a look at the numbers two point eight billion dollars worth of supplies sold by the u.s. in two thousand and eleven there were five hundred ten million dollars in defense contracts over the last decade eight hundred thirty million dollars spent toward countering narcotics and four thousand u.s. troops are currently in the region for more on this expanding war on drugs in latin america victor silverman history professor at the college joins us now welcome
victor so we know that the war on drugs has been going on for a decade so how is it growing now well the problem with understanding the war on drugs growth present. it centers on the need for the united states to continue to have a presence throughout latin america and that is at the base of it secondly there's domestic policy concerns which make it very difficult for the obama administration to shift its policy gil kerlikowske the u.s. drug czar. announced famously early on in the obama administration that the drug war was no more that the united states did not like that metaphor however american drug policy has not shifted release and any significant way in the first obama administration or first obama term and it doesn't now and it appear to be
shipping out yet i mean does this signal that that is not going to shift anytime soon not in his second term either know it won't be shifting and what happens is the location of the u.s. military involvement in latin america shift so we previously saw a massive involvement in colombia through a program called plan colombia a plan colombia brought billions of dollars of u.s. military a american forces both the military and the g.a.a. were stationed there and helped train the colombians and bring them into very active counter guerrilla and counter-narcotics program that shifted the thrust of the drug trafficking trade to mexico in turn the united states launched what was called plan mary in mexico which brought billions of dollars to mexico. a
substantial american involvement with the mexican military mexico is the now the largest recipient of u.s. military aid in the hemisphere here and that has meant now that the drug trade has shifted to central america so we saw last summer. u.s.d.a. agents involved in violent incidents in honduras hunder us is receiving one point three billion dollars in new u.s. arms. sales in this current year this is a country this is a small country. doing a massive amount of intruder infusion of american arms weaponry so what happens what changes in the drug war is not the basic premise that military and law enforcement are the central way to fight the drug war but rather the location where it takes place ok yeah we are seeing that they're finding this need to expand and as you had mentioned and we put the figures up there earlier billions and billions
of dollars spent on this war billions of dollars more of being poured into ed and you have to ask what and what are we accomplishing there well there is a certain six tests to the drug war but it may not necessarily be the success that the government claims it is while there has been some restriction on the entry into the united states of various drugs whether it's current container marijuana particularly from a latin america. the price of drugs which is probably the best marker on the street of this success or failure of the interdiction strat the g. of the government has a really shifted significantly so not receiving a big rise in drug prices. what what is kind of price of a what about the actual flow of drugs. well because what i like to see the drug prices tell us that. drug flow is continuing unabated right so that
their success in the drug war there would be a big increase in drug prices there hasn't been a big increase in drug prices which means there hasn't been a successful interdiction but what's been successful in the drug war is the continuing basis for american military involvement throughout latin america latin america has shifted dramatically to the west there's more democratic governments there are more left wing governments in latin america over the last twelve years of sixteen years and the drug war provides a basis for the united states to maintain military bases to maintain troop presence is to maintain close relationships with latin american military actors so in that sense the drug war is a tremendous success and i guess it all depends on how you define success then when it comes to the war on drugs if it's if you're talking about actually stopping this
. hundreds of billions of dollars in this illegal industry it hasn't really done that so i want to point out what the pentagon is is is saying when it comes to this war they say that stopping drug trafficking organization has become a matter of national security because it spreads corruption terrorists but it has been going on for decades is it a mess and matter of national security now. oh it is a good the reality of the drug trade is that it has enrich to some really nasty people there are tremendous filings particularly in mexico where somewhere around seventy thousand people have been killed in the current drug war it's corrupted a latin american institutions it's corrupted american institutions there is a real price to the true war that is being paid by people dying every day by people suffering from. addictions that they're able to feed cheaply because
without getting the benefit of treatment so there's many if there really is a crisis. of drug use and a growing drug industry the problem is that american drug policy has not changed this it's been the same basic drug policy for decades or decades been going on for decades and it looks like it is not ending anytime soon victor thanks for coming on i was victor silverman history professor at pomona college so happy to be here and now we look at a legal fight brewing between the united states and a small island nation of antigua after united states made it illegal for its citizens to take part in and he was online gambling industry and says it lost a sizable chunk of its business now antigua its fighting back with the help of the world trade organization and is allowed to ignore all u.s. copyright laws are to correspondent on a softer target i went to the caribbean country to bring us the latest. a heavenly
spot in the caribbean welcome to antigua and barbuda a tiny country with a population of under ninety thousand people. gambling is a popular pastime here for locals and tourists alike i want says the las vegas of the caribbean because i mean i have a lot of caribbean countries that. i should stay with sometimes be a stepping stone ahead of a lot of other casinos but an even more powerful money maker here a mere decade ago was the online gaming business we once had a thriving. internet gaming industry that employed over four thousand people and that industry has gone juta actions of the united states legally licensed internet gambling companies provided jobs for five percent of the locals and rocketed in over three billion dollars annually but with americans as the key players u.s. officials weren't happy and bad offshore gaming even though the industry is
completely legal in america sneezes the rest of the world catches the cold. from thousands of jobs and tremendous cash inflow to an industry crumbled and those who make it up treated as criminals they were prosecution. persons who had companies operating companies eventually go on these for us and some of them were indicted and arrested and who had their property and for. the potential targets people like this online gambling operator fearful of what the u.s. can do to him because of his business legally licensed in and he wants to remain anonymous. or. stolen from. williams. the
island nation has had enough and has put a fight at the world trade organization for its legal rights money and regaining a collapsed industry it's been going on for a decade. and we think it's time to bring the plane into the w t o took the side of the tiny country in a decision that ruffled the feathers of the u.s. the world trade organization antigay has the right to basically grab the assets of the united states including in particular copyrights trademarks patents so they can sell microsoft word for a dollar each the w t o decision allows and t. get to completely ignore us copyright laws until the money loss due to the online gaming collapse is made up for but limited to twenty one million dollars a year the u.s. concern now is that the w t o has potentially laid out a welcome mat for the pirates of the caribbean but the tiny island nations of the bullion giants we have helped to play first certainly wiping out the second largest
source of a good team in economy i'm sure that the dispute between american men to go frightens many moguls because of what may come next they won't talk about it on camera but for tourists the slap in the face of the u.s. is all the gossip that kind of money it isn't it's not going to hurt the u.s. economy that much as it was different in the going to be no. but also will take some action against it as well while until going to have won a battle at the w t o there is still a long fight ahead first time that a small country took on a war country in the world trade organization. and it was then it's kind of you know a bad thing that the united states is just ignoring it now the ball is now in the court of this little island while the copyright left is now an official option to cash in on and to go hopes it might be able to negotiate a deal with the u.s. that is good for all before all ships have sailed and r.t.
reporting from mt gun barbuda in the caribbean. a look now at the state of u.s. media after that teo disaster questions are being asked about news outlets failing to that sources and do their research artie's adriano sarah has more. it's no secret that media outlets screw up we of course all remember this fiasco from last year the individual mandate has been ruled unconstitutional justices have just got it both the centerpiece provisions of the obama health care law ok i said fact that's the final word on the individual mandate they could be a little bit more complicated by getting completing their formation or getting inflicting information as they say there's just some confusion there are conflicting reports coming in from inside the supreme court so let's let's hold off on drawing any final conclusions are still trying to figure this out be cautious with this we're trying to do the best we can right now as we sort through it and we
need it later a lower third actually may not be correct or a take several minutes as a reading through this again i we are reading now that the entire law has been upheld. however the recent case of all-star notre dame linebacker manti teo makes us question just how easy it is for a fake story to take on a life of its own and how quickly media jump on a story instead of doing due diligence during the college football season tayo story of overcoming personal tragedy captured the hearts and minds of americans across the country. in an comprehensible six hour time span notre dame linebacker manti t.e.o. learned the both his grandmother and his girlfriend had died. the only problem wasn't true after numerous outlets reported for months the tale suffered the crushing loss of his girlfriend when i could get a cancer sports blog deadspin uncovered not everything was as it seemed and no such person ever existed media outlets like e.s.p.n. never questioned tayo story even when there were flashing caution lights there was
no bitch wear for the girlfriend no one ever sought quotes from her family and there was no record of her at stanford university where supposedly went to school most journalists were more interested in puff pieces than actually digging into more fascinating story beneath the surface another media dispute england's the sunday times has stopped accepting freelance pictures from the war zone in syria when freelance war photographer refined their submitted pictures from his most recent trip he was told that the newspaper no longer accept photographs from freelancers in the dangerous region well the newspaper thought finally had some exceptional work before death said it had a policy in place not to take work from syria because the dangers of operating there are too great a respected journalist marie colvin was killed in syria while reporting for the sunday times finally said that it should be an individual's choice whether or not to enter the war torn region and the risk would be worth it if it led to the conflict in syria to the rest of the world and another big fumble the new york
times dragging its feet in covering bradley manning's pretrial hearings. i also want to say the journalist who's been covering the bradley manning trains and. one whom you won't hear on that list the new york times. what you see there is journalists covering a trial that is very difficult to cover and you don't see the major media covering that trial. ratner wasn't the only one who felt that way after being repeatedly criticized by people inside and outside the press the new york times and public editor margaret sullivan expressed her sense of shared disappointment at the missed opportunity saying quote beyond the story itself the times which considers itself the paper of record had an obligation to be there to bear witness because in a very real sense private manning was one of its most important.